Intel Corp. and Micron Technology on Monday said that starting from the second quarter of 2010 they would initiate production of NAND flash memory using 25nm process technology. The move further extends the companies’ leadership in terms of fabrication process and enables IM Flash Technologies, Intel and Micron's NAND flash joint venture, to produce very cost-efficient flash chips.
The 25nm process produces 8GB of storage in a single NAND device, creating a high-capacity storage solution for today's tiny consumer gadgets as well as solid-state drives. The new device utilizes 2-bit-per-cell (2bpc) technology providing robust performance and reliability required by higher-end storage applications. The new 25nm 8GB device reduces chip count by 50% compared to previous process generations, allowing for smaller, yet higher density designs and greater cost efficiencies. For example, a 256GB solid-state drive (SSD) can now be enabled with just 32 of these devices (versus 64 previously), a 32GB smartphone needs just four, and a 16GB flash card requires only two.
"Through our continued investment in IMFT, we're delivering leadership technology and manufacturing that enable the most cost-effective and reliable NAND memory. This will help speed the adoption of solid-state drive solutions for computing,” said Tom Rampone, vice president and general manager of Intel NAND solutions group.
With a committed focus and investment in NAND research and development, Intel and Micron have doubled NAND density roughly every 18 months, which leads to smaller, more cost-efficient and higher capacity products. Intel and Micron formed IMFT in 2006, starting production with a 50nm process, followed by a 34nm process in 2008. With today's 25nm process, the companies are extending their process and fabrication leadership further with the introduction of the smallest semiconductor lithography available in the industry.
The 25nm, 8GB device is sampling now and is expected to enter mass production in the second quarter of 2010.